On Monday night, the Rockets allowed Denver to score early and score often, taking a 36-22 lead into the second quarter. The defense picked up and the Rockets would end the half up four points, 58 to 54.
In the third quarter the Rockets would push the lead to 1- points, and then the Nuggets locked things down and the Rockets went cold. After a Jameer Nelson bucket with two minutes left in the third, the Nuggets would not look back. The game did get interesting in the final minutes of action, but the Rockets were just not able to make the key bucket to push them over the top.
Below are three takeaways from the game
When you give up two 30 plus point quarters and 114 points overall unless the game went six overtimes chances are the defense that night was pretty bad. And the defense was that bad for the Rockets.
The Rockets allowed 62 points in the paint, and while Clint Capela did get scratched from the game last minute. Capela ain't accounting for all of that.
The Rockets on numerous possessions lost guys and that man would go straight on into the paint.
You'll live with the bigs scoring in the paint, that is what they are supposed to do. Want you can't live with is the lil's scoring in the paint. Gary Harris and Will Barton accounted for 22 points near the rim.
The one play that had me trying to rip the eyes right out of my head: Nelson is bringing the ball up the court, James Harden's responsibility is Harris. Harden starts watching Nelson, who is on the other side of the court, and Harris races right behind Harden and Nelson hits him for the dunk.
Below is a clip of five Rockets watching the ball, you can guess that things did not end well on this particular possession.
The Dwight Howard "big guy" fouls are super annoying
Howard's first "big guy" foul of the night: He was going through the lane trying to get a little bit of position on the block, bumps into Nikola Jokic and Jokic flailing his arms, offensive foul on Howard.
Howard's second "big guy" foul: Going for an offensive rebound, he pulled Mike Miller to get to the rebound. Miller then goes flying like Howard just slapped him in the face, offensive foul on Howard.
Howard's third "big guy" foul: Howard again going for and offensive rebound shoves Kenneth Faried slightly in the back and Faried goes flying, offensive foul on Howard.
Are you beginning to see a theme? Howard is the biggest and strongest guy so he must have committed a foul. It is super annoying and at some point, like Howard, you just have to shake your head and laugh.
Shoegate changed the game, but too little, too late.
The Nuggets up 15 points with a little over four minutes left for some reason decided to annoy the Rockets. Will Barton threw Trevor Ariza's shoe which resulted in a technical foul.
After that thrown shoe, the Rockets went on an 18 to 4 run to pull within two points with 30 seconds left in the game.
Down by two points, Jason Terry had a wide open look from three to give the Rockets a lead, set up by a James Harden drive-and-kick. Unfortunately, Terry missed the shot, the Nuggets got the rebound and that was pretty much that.